Mocktails are interesting drinks as they carry all the drama an alcoholic cocktail entails and yet don't make you regret the next day. Actually most mocktails can be made to suit a meal in terms of complementing flavors, as palate cleansers between the courses and as digestive and hydrating agents during a heavy meal as well. Or just serve them as summer drinks as and when required. Sometimes I have a diluted version of any of these mocktails by adding green tea infusion in it. More so with the lemongrass-ginger infusion and pineapple juice mocktail. A lemongrass-ginger infusion ( a tisane actually) is made and refrigerated many times and had in an iced drink in summers and as a hot green tea infusion in winters. Yes, it is quite a versatile infusion. I have written nutritional info about pineapple, healing properties of ginger and health benefits of lemongrass earlier. This mocktail is certainly antioxidant and digestive in it's effect apart from being extremely refreshing.
About 100 gm fresh lemongrass leaves are scissor cut, a 50 gm piece of ginger root is grated and both are put into a pot of boiling water, holding about 1.5 liter of water. A quick boil and then the pot is taken off heat, covered and cooled. Strain and reserve the infusion for later use.
I use pineapple juice from cartons for mocktails mostly, only because they are more convenient for a quick drink or for fixing mocktails for a crowd when required.
To make this lemongrass-ginger and pineapple juice mocktail you just put a few ice cubes in the glass that is already rimmed with celery salt or plain salt. Pour about 100 ml of the infusion and then top with 100 ml of pineapple juice. Serve immediately. You can adjust the quantities of the liquids as per taste, more infusion less juice if you like it less sweet and vice versa.
Another mocktail is an interesting mix of tangy-sweet taste of the ingredients and a unique zing provided by kala namak (black salt). We had this mocktail at Varq (at The Taj Mahal Hotel) sometime back and loved it. I recreated it almost immediately and now this will be a regular mocktail at my place for sure.
Tamarind is a powerful antioxidant, a good source of minerals and vitamins like Vit C, A and Thiamine. With added orange in this mocktail it become a refreshing digestive drink that is suitable for any occasion.
To make this drink you start with dry tamarind pulp which is boiled with water. About 50 gm tamarind and 500 gm water. The tamarind gets soft after boiling, the mixture is cooled and strained to get the extract. Mix 100 ml of this tamarind extract with 150 ml of orange juice and kala namak to taste. Rim the glasses with kala namak and fill with ice cubes if required. Pour the juice mix over the ice and serve immediately.
You would get repeated requests for both these drinks I am sure. Using freshly extracted juice will certainly be good but try and use unsweetened juice from a carton if using ready made options.
Do let me know if you like these mocktails when you try.